Ladies and gentlemen elected,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear everyone,

Dear friends,


Dear Bernard…

Thank you for giving me the floor, but I would like to begin by paying tribute to the extraordinary director you have been for this Aix festival over the past ten years. Bravo, and thank you for the outstanding work. Exceptional in terms of programming, which has always given pride of place to diversity, the dialogue of cultures, and audacity. This 70e edition, the last one you sign, is still the illustration. I would also like to pay tribute to the inexhaustible commitment you have shown to open the doors of this festival to as many people as possible, especially young generations. And finally, to conclude on a subject that is also dear to me and that brings us together here today, I would like to commend your constant activism in favour of equality between women and men.

The woman is in honor of this 70e edition, placed notably under the sign of Ariane, Didon, Renata, the Queen of the Night.

Many of them are played by performers from the Festival Academy, whose 20th anniversary we are celebrating this year..

You have also supported many creators: librettists, composers, directors… I discovered again last night the setting-in-scene ofAriadne by Katie MITCHELL, who has been in residence here since 2012. We need - our country, our We need a culture that is as proactive as yours, dear Bernard, because we are still far from equality in action.

This is a fight that many of you share here, and it is at the heart of your “National Meetings” today …

I want to thank Accord Majeur for organizing these debates and choosing this theme, the “challenge of diversity”, which must mobilize us all: public authorities, professionals, civil society.

There is still a way to go, and the field of music is no exception…

- Women remain under-represented in various occupations:

  • 9% of SACEM composers;
  • 3% of conductors, it should be remembered;

- Fewer women in positions of responsibility:

  • Only 12% of women at the head of the Scenes of current music;
  • Less than one third within the bodies of the National Centre of Varieties;
  • And if I warmly welcome the appointment of Frédéric MAURIN as head of the National Jazz Orchestra, I can only regret the absence of women in the shortlist Final which had seven selected;

- Women are on average less supported:

  • They receive only 16% of the aid for writing musical works;

- They are also less visible on our stages:

  • This season, less than 3% of orchestral performances were conducted by women in France;
  • Only 5% of contemporary works and 2% of the classical repertoire played were signed by composers.

- And mechanically, women are less valued, less rewarded:

  • Over the period 2010-2017, only 8% of the winners of the Victoires de la Musique were women in the "best album" category.

These figures we oblige. I know that your associations have a long history of fighting discrimination of all kinds.

I myself have made commitments for the ministry, which has a double duty of exemplarity: as a public administration, and as an actor of the cultural sphere, which should be at the forefront in all the great struggles of society.



I decided to act on all fronts:

- Equal pay, first: we are going to spend half a billion euros to address wage inequalities in the ministry by 2022.

  • I count on the cultural actors to take the same path.

- Access to positions of responsibility, then:

  • I’m going to establish parity in the appointments to the head of the department’s public institutions, after the five-year period, against a third of women today.

Here again, I am counting on cultural actors to take the same path:

- I would like to remind you that for labels, I made the decision to set progress targets: +10% per year where women represent less than a quarter of managers; +5% where they represent between 25 and 40% of managers.

- The same progress targets will be implemented, starting in 2018, for programming, to increase the visibility of women artists.

Monitoring will be implemented, and a “malus” system on subsidies will apply to actors who do not respect their obligations.

Everyone must take part in this fight, as in the fight against discrimination related to age, disability, sexual orientation and origin, religion, origin, place of residence, etc.

Defending culture means defending creation, but it also means defending values. It’s wearing a certain model of society.

I know I can count on your convictions, on your commitment.

I find reasons to hope and believe in the remarkable action that the Aix Festival Academy has undertaken for several years not only to renew and diversify audiences but also to promote the creative strength and talent of women, notably through leadership training programmes and the establishment of solidarity networks, which are undeniably their proof.

This morning, I would like to say a word about the work that is being done on music policy, based on three concerns:

  1. the creation 
  2. the dissemination
  3. education




1: In support of creation, I want to reiterate my commitments. Commitments for your resources first. I fought for my department’s budget last year.

I just fought to get the unfreezing of the creation credits in 2018. I will confirm for you today that my department will be able to honour all of its commitments.

I heard questions about the National Music Centre just a few days ago.

I have said it several times and I reaffirm it here: it is the department that will remain in exclusive control of the aids and public policies for the music you represent. NJC will manage economic support for current and recorded music only.

That does not mean that your sector has no place in this future institution, which will also provide observation, training and international outreach missions that can be beneficial to you. The department will have its place in governance and will be there to speak for you.

The best sign of this commitment is the good news I wanted to share with you this morning:

- A new National Centre for Musical Creation will be created – this will be the eighth: we have decided to label the Théâtre Athénor de Saint-Nazaire, which has shown an exemplary commitment to arts and cultural education and to the fight against geographical disparities, with its «nomadic» actions in the territory.

- I would like to salute its founder and director, Brigitte LALLIER-MAISONNEUVE, who has been running this project since 1985 and thus becomes the first woman to head a CNCM. So this is double good news.

A word about support for music control, finally: you know that today, this help is conditional on playing in France, we will evolve the system to lift this lock and accompany all composers, wherever their works are programmed – in France, in Europe, and around the world. For we can only rejoice in this radiance.

I would also like to remind you that we have increased support for music commissions this year, to accompany four additional creations.

 Support for creation then includes commitments on the living, working and remuneration conditions of artists. And again, I want to reiterate that I have not let my guard down once. I fought in the context of the reform of the CSG to preserve the purchasing power of artists-authors.

I have defended the specific social system of artists-authors, as part of the reforms underway, and there is no question of going back to it. I have consulted with representatives of the various professions to determine the conditions that would guarantee their social protection, their purchasing power, and beyond that, their status under our copyright.

When it comes to authors and composers, I know that collective management organizations make sure that you are paid fairly, and I applaud that.

This is a struggle that I also carry at the European level.

I took note of the European Parliament’s vote last week. A new debate on copyright reform will be opened for review in September.

I will remain fully mobilized until then, with the creators and press editors at my side, so that the new text takes up again the major advances on which we had obtained an agreement in the Council of Ministers, and two in particular:

- The increased accountability of platforms in the remuneration of creators whose works they broadcast: a fundamental provision for the music sector since it will apply to actors like YouTube;

- And the recognition of creators' right to fair and proportional remuneration.

Last week’s debate and vote were disrupted by the untruths of the most vocal opponents to the text.

The fight continues. We have already resumed our work of conviction.

2: Second pillar: support for dissemination, from the territorial to the international level.

 On the territorial level, you are doing an absolutely remarkable job, and I really want to thank you for that.

I am thinking of all the musical projects that irrigate the territory: orchestras, operas, centres of musical creation, ensembles, opera companies.   I am also thinking of the festivals, which are so numerous in your sector and so structuring for your sector. This network is the result of a long journey with local and regional authorities whose constant commitment, particularly in the musical field, I welcome.

On the international level, your network plays a decisive role in promoting French creation, and I thank you for that. We must stand by you now more than ever.

Today, the support provided by the Export Bureau does not sufficiently benefit the music you represent.

In addition, aid is split between several branches – the Bureau Export, the Institut Français, the international action services of my department.

We will therefore organize a work with you, led by the Ministry in consultation with the French Institute and the Burex, to clarify the export aids that benefit your sector and especially to better support you.

 3: A word about our education policy in the musical field, finally. Because the support of your sector is also the training of tomorrow’s audiences and talents.

We are implementing an unprecedented policy for children’s musical education. I know that many of you have been involved since the first few months, including the “Back to Music” initiative, and I want to thank you for that.

A few weeks ago, I announced the doubling of grants to several «tête-de-pont» structures in the development of instrumental and orchestral practice, to multiply their deployment – Orchestra at school, Demos, Jeunesses musicales de France in particular... We will continue. This is a project that will last for five years.

In parallel, we are working with the Ministry of National Education on a new policy to develop the learning of singing: we aim for the creation of a choir per school by 2019, against one in four today; and a «choir» option Optional 2 hours offered in 7,000 colleges at the start of the school year.

A common repertoire will be created for these choirs: Laurence EQUILBEY has agreed to accompany us in this work and I want to thank him for it.

Laurence has long been invested in this fight for the musical education of all, as you know. We will accompany him in the deployment of a new project in Ile-de-France and Normandy for the production and dissemination of vocal art, around his choir «Accentus». This project will also provide arts education and amateur practice support missions.

The ministry will therefore support it and I also wanted to entrust to Laurence EQUILBEY the mission of supporting the creation of similar structures throughout the territory. It will build on the professional vocal ensembles already identified in the territory for their commitment in the artistic production of innovative forms and arts education – like the great work done here in the PACA region by Roland HAYRABEDIAN, whom I salute.

Laurence will present her recommendations to me in the fall. So, dear friends,

The main messages and new commitments I wanted to share with you today. You know my love of music. You know, in particular, my taste for the one you represent. You can count on my full support.

Thank you once again, dear Bernard, from the bottom of your heart: thank you for the commitment of the last ten years, to the service of music, to the service of our country, to the service of a certain model of society.

And I wish Pierre AUDI every success and joy in the driving of the coming seasons. The one that has just been announced augurs well.

Thank you all.